A new series of challah covers

Series is perhaps too grand a word for three.

 

The text comes from this

שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁרֵת‏‏ מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

בּוֹאֲכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

בָּרְכוּנִי לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאָכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא


צֵאתְכֶם לְשָׁלוֹם מַלְאֲכֵי הַשָּׁלוֹם מַלְאָכֵי עֶלְיוֹן
מִמֶּלֶךְ מַלְכֵי הַמְּלָכִים הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא

This liturgical poem is traditionally sung before the Friday night meal.

This is the translation

Peace upon you, ministering angels, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
Come in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
Bless me with peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
May your departure be in peace, messengers of peace, messengers of the Most High,
of the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.
 
And the transliteration
Shalom alechem malache ha-sharet malache elyon,
mi-melech malche ha-melachim Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu.
Bo'achem le-shalom malache ha-shalom malache elyon,
mi-melech malche ha-melachim Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu.
Barchuni le-shalom malache ha-shalom malache elyon,
mi-melech malche ha-melachim Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu.
Tzet'chem le-shalom malache ha-shalom malache elyon,
mi-melech malche ha-melachim Ha-Kadosh Baruch Hu.
I chose the third verse, the one asking for blessing for the challah cover.

SAM_2584

I love how the deep blue linen and the stars also evokes the moment when you sing the poem. Usually it’s dark when you sit at the Shabbat table.

 

I remember sitting in my dining room several years ago, my family would be sitting down to Shabbat dinner later in the evening. As I sat, I heard my downstairs neighbors singing Shalom Aleichem as they began their meal. I loved hearing the melody rising in the courtyard to my windows.

SAM_2585My family usually didn’t begin our meal with Shalom Aleichem. My husband’s Friday night dinner always began with the singing of Shalom Aleichem. They didn’t sing well, but with great gusto.

When my in laws began joining us for each Shabbat dinner in the year before my mother in laws death we began singing it each week as well.

 

SAM_2587

You can hear a sweet rendition here.SAM_2588

 

The melody sounds like it comes out of the mists of time but was written in 1918 on the campus of Columbia University.SAM_2589

When we sing Shalom Aleichem I feel the worries of the week slipping away.SAM_2592

And then I’m ready for Shabbat.SAM_2593SAM_2594SAM_2595

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